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New Zealand Society of Physiotherapists

NEWS RELEASE

New Zealand Society of Physiotherapists

Physiotherapists are calling on government to ensure they can go on treating accident victims. "The Budget will be make or break time for our patients," said Jon Warren, President of the New Zealand Society of Physiotherapists.

"If we don't get the funding increase recommended by the government's own review, some of our businesses will not survive – and our patients won't have the care they need to recover from accidents."

According to an independent government-appointed reviewer, ACC funding of physiotherapy is not sustainable. "'Unsustainable' means that we can't go on," Mr Warren said.

The reviewer, David Goddard QC, recommended in November an immediate 33% increase in ACC fees to physiotherapists, the biggest provider of ACC rehabilitation services. "It may sound as if we're expecting too much," Mr Warren said, "but remember this is the minimum recommended by Mr Goddard, recognising the chronic underfunding of physiotherapy."

Mr Goddard also stated that physiotherapists are bearing an unfair proportion of the cost of accidents. "In other words we're paying for patients' recovery out of our own pockets," Mr Warren said. We call on government to recognise this crisis and take its own reviewer's advice, so that patients can continue to get the rehab care they need after accidents."

Physiotherapists are anxiously awaiting the Budget announcement of increased ACC fees for physiotherapy, the biggest provider of ACC rehabilitation services.

ENDS

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